It was about a decade ago that Fluffernutter introduced me to Chef’s Market Café & Take Away in Goodlettsville. Since that first fateful trip, I have been amazed by the number of times I have asked the question, “Who catered this—it’s terrific?” and been met with the response, “Chef’s Market.”
Last week when I returned for the first time to Chef’s Market, I was delighted to find the same unexpected coziness that I remembered from all that time ago. Located in an unassuming strip mall at 900 Conference Drive, the market has an easy rustic patina, with rough concrete floors, farmhouse furniture, large chalkboard menus and an old gas stove repurposed as shelving for gourmet groceries—including bags of the tri-colored pita points that are a hallmark of a Chef’s Market catered spread.
The buffet line overflowed with modern twists on meat-and-three cuisine, including baked chicken with plums, capers and olives; seared salmon and crawfish sauce; and pork loin with cranberries. The roster of Thanksgiving-worthy sides included garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, and a decadent sweet potato casserole so shamelessly encrusted with nuts and sugar that, frankly, it could be called Sweet Potato Brown Betty. Meat with two sides and a muffin cost about $10, depending on the meat.
The sprawling menu and display cases included plenty of salads and sandwiches that would have made for lighter fare on a prettier day. As it was, it was cold and rainy, and I needed lots of sweet potato casserole. I kept the salads for another day—but I hope another decade won't pass before I go back.